Taking time for myself is one of my most cherished forms of self-care.
The value of alone time was top of mind for me in February, when we're typically on the receiving end of a large number of messages from brands and companies about love and companionship. And while I would never dismiss the value of love practiced between lovers or friends, I think it's worth reminding ourselves that the self-love story is one worth exploring and investing time and energy in. I try to carve out time for myself once a week to do something that I love, something that grounds me, and I feel pretty lucky to have a partner who understands the value of this practice.
Keep reading for a few of my favorite things to do when I need a little bit of alone time.
I've found that one of the best ways to ground myself when my mind is running away from me is by spending time outdoors. A walk around my neighborhood is always lovely, but a hike among the redwoods or a walk along the beach is even better. It's incredibly humbling to be immersed in the magic and wonder of nature.
There is something really nice about enjoying a meal alone, especially when you're accustomed to sharing most of your meals with your partner, family, or friends. Every once in a while I like to take myself out for a glass of wine or cup of coffee and bite to eat, especially on a sunny day when I can sit outside and indulge in a bit of people watching.
A slow afternoon at the museum with my "Museum Music" playlist. The music guides me and I let my mind wander as I take in each exhibit. I had a very special experience at Musee l'Orangerie in Paris with Claude Monet's Water Lilies while listening to this playlist. I'll never forget it.
We're very lucky to live within walking distance of Golden Gate Park and I spend time in the park at least two to three times a week. In the spring and summer, I'll spend many afternoons among the flowers in front of the Conservatory of Flowers with a throw blanket and a book.
A bike ride through the city. This might be my favorite thing to do when I'm craving a solo adventure. My husband bought me a beautiful green bike from Tokyo Bike Club a few years ago and it quite literally changed my life. A childlike joy courses through me when I'm riding my bike around SF, listening to a playlist curated specifically for the ride. It's one of my favorite ways to see the city. Pure bliss.
These are just a few of the ways that I like to spend my sacred "alone time." Most often, my self-love practice guides me outside, but there are days when all I want to do is start slow with a cup of coffee and my book in bed. There's no right or wrong way to practice self-love, but as the season of renewal and growth approaches, I encourage you to begin your practice.